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Campion whiz tops CSEC physics in Caribbean

Published:Thursday | November 7, 2019 | 12:00 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Binil Sebastian recalls that her son, Vivek Attupuram, began counting when he was just one year old. That’s how she knew he would have a knack for numbers and problem-solving.

“He used to ask some good questions – how things worked – and he was very observant. He’s a real hard-working boy, and he does well in all aspects of his studies,” his mother recalled.

The Campion College student recently placed first in the region for the June 2019 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) physics examination.

Two other Campionites – Zara Ranglin and Karissa Richards – were also among the top 13 in the Caribbean. Madeleine Barrett, of Immaculate High, and Tsitsi Burgess, of New Heights Limited, were also among the elite candidates.

Vivek sat nine subjects and was also featured on the merit list for placing fifth in biology, seventh in mathematics, and eighth in additional mathematics.

His interest in mathematics and its related subjects was deepened based on the fact that his mother is a mathematics lecturer at the University of Technology and his father is a physics teacher.

“I had to learn from all my mistakes, look at all the previous labs, and past papers. The programme here for physics is pretty good, and our teachers know what they’re doing, and they are confident in what they’re doing,” Vivek said.

He added: “I knew I did well, but placing – it’s open to anyone, so I didn’t really have any expectations to place, per se, but when I found out, I was actually really happy and I just want to maintain that standard.”

Prior to sitting CSEC, Vivek participated in the Mathematical Olympiad four times because it afforded him the opportunity to tackle challenging questions. He copped first place in his most recent entry for the grade 11 category.

About his preparation for exams, his mother said: “If he had doubts and asked, we would help him. We didn’t really sit down and teach him,” she said.

He is the president of Campion’s Math Club and an active member of the Medics and Chess clubs.

The 17-year-old has distinguished himself as a high achiever but is not certain which career path he will take.